UnitedHealthcare finds 70% of retirees concerned with physical health

UnitedHealthcare finds that most seniors are worried about their physical health. (jetcityimage/Getty)

Nearly 70% of Americans ages 62 and older named physical health their top concern, according to a recent survey conducted by UnitedHealthcare. In fact, 86% of the demographic are worried about falling ill or becoming hospitalized in the near future.

Other concerns for this demographic that made the UnitedHealthcare survey included cognitive health (16%), social health (13%), and financial health (6%). Collectively, health was of greater concern than financial stability, with 63% of respondents saying maintaining physical ability to live in retirement was more of a concern than maintaining financial stability (37%).

“I found the survey results encouraging, because we are continuously hearing our members talk about the importance health plays in relation to fulfilling their goals,” Ben Kehl, vice president of member experience for UnitedHealthcare Medicare and retirement, told FierceHealthcare. “So with that in mind, and our desire to be an active partner in helping our members live healthy lives, we have designed programs and services that help them feel confident in their healthcare decisions, so they can focus on living a life they love.”

Living a healthy life for 70% of respondents means starting a new routine, such as a diet (40%), fitness routine (34%), or volunteer opportunities (11%). And more than half of these respondents (56%) are working to improve or maintain their mental health.

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In addition, this aging population wants to be social. Seventy-five percent said they host or attend social gatherings each month and on average attend five social gatherings per month.

“More than 10,000 people turn 65 each day, and they’re bringing a fresh approach to this phase of life. We have a unique opportunity to help these people forge a new path and redefine aging,” Kehl said in a release.

UnitedHealthcare Medicare plans are developed to reach individual needs, as this growing population is so varied. For example, about 40% of UnitedHealthcare’s Medicare Advantage members have multiple chronic conditions, and nearly the same percentage live alone. Knowing that, the company created programs and services tailored to their specific needs.

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Examples include Navigate4Me and Renew Active, Kehl said. Navigate4Me is a concierge-style service that provides Medicare Advantage members facing complex health issues with a single point of contact to coordinate care, address claims issues, provide social support and help with other needs. And Renew Active is the fitness benefit for the mind and body. With this program, UnitedHealthcare members have access to an extensive network of gyms as well as online brain games to help their minds stay sharp.

“At UnitedHealthcare, we will build on our momentum and continue to serve as an active partner in the health and well-being of our members, encouraging them to take advantage of the benefits and resources we offer to help them live healthier lives and stay active as they age,” Kehl added.